Uploaded by Bernard Gundran


AUGUST 7, 2021
It is evident that we are living in an ethnically and culturally diverse world. Diversity
demands restructuring and modification of educational systems, processes, and educational
policies and philosophies to reflect multicultural parameters and context, especially in this
The main objective of this term paper is to acquire an understanding of the relationship
between cultural diversity and classroom management in the new normal. Cultural diversity is
defined as the existence of a variety of cultural groups within a society. Cultural groups can
share many different characteristics. They include culture, religion, ethnicity, language, etc.
Classroom management is defined as anything that is done to create and preserve order in the
classroom. This includes procedures, routines, and structures that are explained to students,
practiced, and reinforced over time. On the other hand, new normal means a current situation,
social customs, etc. that is different from what has been experienced or done before but is
expected to become usual or typical. The study focuses on the challenges in classroom
management in terms of cultural diversity in the new normal. It also sought to find out if there
are new theories in classroom management in his time. In educational institutions, it will help
educators to form positive viewpoints and adjustable nature in terms of managing the culturally
diverse classrooms in the new normal.
What is Multicultural Education?
Before answering this question, we need to define first the word culture. Louise Damen,
in her book “Culture Learning: The Fifth Dimension on the Language Classroom” defined
culture as the “learned and shared human patterns or models for living; day-to-day living
patterns that pervade all aspects of human social interaction”. (Damen 1987) Culture is
mankind’s primary adaptive mechanism. Individuals from varied nationalities, ethnicities, and
races all bring cultural traditions to their interactions, and it’s up to teachers to recognize,
celebrate and share these different perspectives. There are many ways by which culture affects
classroom both inside and out. Inside the classroom, culture affects academic, performance,
student – teacher relationship, classroom engagement, handling conflict and solving problems.
Outside the classroom, it affects language, family structures and values, religion, ethnicity and
race and disabilities.
So what is Multicultural education? Multicultural education is not a task to be done or
even an end goal to be accomplished. Instead, it is an approach to education that aims to include
all students, promote learning of other cultures, and teach healthy social skills in a multicultural
setting. Shilpa Bhouraskar, who runs a business offering online courses to students worldwide,
says that multicultural classrooms are a melting pot. Rather than a passive, one-way flow of
learning from teacher to student, there is brainstorming of ideas, stories and experiences that
enrich educational experience in ways that are impossible in monocultural classes. (Accredited
Schools Online, 2021)
Relationship of Cultural Diversity and Classroom Management
Cultural differences and classroom management go together in awareness. Knowing
the cultures of students – their backgrounds, home experiences, and prior schooling – plays
directly into the many option educators have for managing their behavior in classrooms. To be
most effective in classroom management, teachers must know and understand the cultural
differences among students. (Deschel,2020)
Why is it important to consider cultural diversity in classroom management? We all
know that every school, not only in our country but all over the world, components of each
classroom varies. It composed of students with different backgrounds, races, ethnicity,
language and the like. In order to address this issue of management diversity in the classroom,
it should start with the training and education of the teachers. Teacher – education program
needs to place a greater emphasis on embedding multicultural applications and implications in
professional and practical courses and activities. This will increase knowledge and
understanding of how culture strongly, influences children’s and teachers’ behaviors, attitudes,
and thought processes. In turn, this may ultimately motivate them to construct and implement
culturally relevant instructional and management strategies. (Elvin Gabriel, et al, 2011)
Knowledge and awareness of the social, cultural, and religious practices of students can aid
teachers in understanding how these practices have influenced student’s behavior, attitudes,
and lifestyles. Teachers should take the opportunity to know each student so that it will help
them to devise proper techniques in handling multicultural classrooms.
Why diversity and cultural awareness is so crucial in the classroom? What are the
benefits it can have on students now and in the long term? Listed below are some benefits of
diversity and cultural awareness in the classroom:
1. Students Become More Energetic
Boosting awareness and creating a personal connection with diverse cultures in the
classroom can prevent students from developing biases later in life. It allows them to empathize
with people different from themselves since they’re more aware of the experiences someone
of a different race or cultural group may face.
2. Students Gain a Better Understanding of Lessons and People
When working and learning with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures
present in the classroom, students gain a more comprehensive understanding of the subject
matter. It also teaches students how to use their own strengths and points of view to contribute
to a diverse working environment.
3. Students Become More Receptive
Naturally, by exposing students to a diverse range of opinions, thoughts, and cultural
backgrounds, you’re encouraging them to be more open-minded later in life. This will make
them open to new ideas and be able to attain a greater comprehension of a topic by taking in
different points of view.
4. Students Feel More Confident and Safe
Students who learn about different cultures during their education feel more
comfortable and safer with these differences later in life. This allows them to interact in a wider
range of social groups and feel more confident in themselves as well as in their interactions
with others.
5. Students Are Better Prepared for a Diverse Workplace
With the rise of globalization, it’s more important to be able to work with people from
different cultures and social groups. If students are exposed to diversity and learn cultural
awareness in the classroom, it sets them up to flourish in the workplace.
New theories Emerged
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced schools to rethink how to deliver instruction. It
created an immediate demand for devices and internet access for all students. Teachers were
required to quickly learn how to deliver instruction in a distance-learning environment. The
rapid changes challenged schools in new ways and in the fall as many schools re-opened in an
online-only environment or a hybrid model. Managing classrooms in today’s distance-learning
environment have changed and have taken on new importance since the pandemic hit. In an
article written by Justin Reilly, he provided four theories about how to provide effective
classroom management. (Reilly, 2021)
1. Digital citizenship creates a foundation for effective distance learning.
The pandemic prompted schools to provide students with devices and internet access so
they could learn from home. While this was necessary, it also carries risk. Students can
potentially fall victim to predators, have their identities stolen, become victims of
cyberbullying or become cyberbullies themselves. The list goes on. Classroom management in
today’s world includes managing those online risks. This means teaching digital citizenship.
This should be non-negotiable for schools that are doing distance learning. Students should be
taught from Day One the basics of how to be responsible about using their devices and
accessing the internet. Schools should adopt or update their digital citizenship plans and
curriculum to reflect new concerns raised through online or hybrid learning environments.
They should teach students how to avoid potentially dangerous websites and how to protect
their personal information. Teaching digital citizenship lays a foundation for a safe and
productive distance-learning experience.
2. Monitoring students’ online learning identifies safety concerns and keeps students on task.
In a distance learning environment, it can be difficult to tell if students are distracted
from the content, or if they are struggling with other issues such as social-emotional issues. In
an in-person classroom, the teacher can walk around the room to see what students are doing
on their computers and make sure they’re on task. They would also likely be able to spot some
of the signs that a student is struggling emotionally such as withdrawal from friends or not
eating at lunch. But these things are more difficult to discern when a teacher doesn’t see the
students in person. Technology, such as online monitoring, helps with these issues. For
example, Impero provides a cloud–based software that allows teachers to view thumbnail
images of students’ screens in real-time. They can do this with students who are in the
classroom, and those who are learning from home. This allows the teacher, for example, to see
what tabs a student has open. They can tell if a student is playing an online game instead of
listening to the synchronous lesson, and they can reach out to the student if he or she hasn’t
been active in the online lesson for a while. The suite also includes student safety software
which provides alerts if, for example, a student is doing web searches in the background that
could indicate thoughts of self-harm or bullying. Teachers can intervene if needed and can log
any concerns in a central record. These types of online monitoring tools and wellbeing software
are critical for effective classroom management because they provide information that helps
teachers support students — both from an academic and a social-emotional standpoint.
3. Technology is a tool for engagement and group work.
Managing a distance learning classroom includes making sure students are engaged in
the content. Group projects are often a great way to keep students engaged, but this can be
challenging in a distance-learning environment or even in a socially distanced classroom.
However, instead of viewing technology as a barrier, teachers should view it as a tool to
promote engagement and facilitate group activities. Technology has come a long way and there
are many platforms, games, activities, and lessons available that are perfect for distance
learning scenarios. For group work, students can use small-group breakout rooms in Zoom and
can work together on projects simultaneously using programs like Google docs. Teachers can
use gamified content, organize trivia contests, or find any number of other activities to keep
students engaged and excited about the content while they’re learning online.
4. Students must learn to be autonomous in their learning.
Classroom management involves managing both the content that students are learning
and how that content is being delivered. There is also another angle. Students must also be
taught how to adapt and engage in content in new ways. Now is the time for school leaders to
think through the curriculum and rethink what’s relevant. Schools should be training students
both for the workforce of today and also for the workforce 10 years from now. This year has
taught us how quickly everything can change. The work environment has been turned on its
head as people started working from home, and the street is changing. Students need to be
taught how to learn in new environments, whatever those new environments might be in the
future. They need to be able to figure out how to complete unfamiliar assignments on new
platforms and how to do work in a different way to meet the needs of the times. The world
needs critical thinkers and those who can adapt to change. That means training students to be
autonomous and to own their education. This is a bigger-picture goal that goes beyond what
the teachers are doing day-to-day in their lesson planning. It’s a conversation that should be
happening at all levels of education to ensure our youth are prepared for whatever lies ahead.
Changes brought by Pandemic in Classroom Management
In the past decade or two teaching has changed significantly, so much in fact that
schools may not be what some of us remember from our own childhood. Changes have affected
both the opportunities and the challenges of teaching, as well as the attitudes, knowledge, and
skills needed to prepare for a teaching career.
Then the pandemic strikes. The challenges and changes have been even worse than
before. Classes shifted from the traditional face-to-face to what we call now blended learning.
Its up for us how we defined that term but the point is it triggers a much bigger challenge to
educators on how to deliver lessons and manage a classroom. Listed below are some changes
in classroom management with diverse backgrounds brought by the pandemic:
1. Classroom routine has changed drastically.
During the old normal, teachers take charge of the education of students. They prepare
lesson plans and conduct face-to-face lectures and activities. Teachers facilitate the building of
communities of inquiry and learning wherein students can collaborate with each other to
broaden and deepen their understanding of their lessons. In this set-up, indeed, there were
instances wherein students sleep or chat with their seatmates inside the classroom. They also
sometimes talked over each other, resulting in noise instead of collaborative dialogue. Some
did assignments for other classes or prepared for a quiz for the next class during lectures.
Fortunately, given that the set-up is face-to-face, teachers can also respond appropriately.
Teachers can call the attention of their students and have them do extra activities, confiscate
paraphernalia that do not contribute to the discussion, or make the discussion more interesting
to get their attention. All these play different roles that contribute to a richer and more effective
learning interaction, which is absent in the new normal of online or modular learning.
2. Change in school discipline and student misbehavior.
Student misbehavior hasn’t vanished during distance learning, but schools are finding
that imposing discipline in a virtual environment is a complicated and often murky process and
that current laws don’t neatly apply to online behavior. (Jones, 2020)
In the old normal, if a pupil or student misbehaves, the usual disciplinary tactics of
teachers is to give warning first and if the student continued his misbehaving he will be sent to
the principal’s office or worse be expelled. This is good because teachers can easily correct the
student’s misbehavior. But how about this time of pandemic? Can the teacher monitor the
cheating, bullying, etc. in the class? With different students with different backgrounds, it is
impossible to do so.
Even in an online class, there are misbehaviors shown by students. This includes
cyberbullying, online gaming/gambling, hacking, and other illegal or inappropriate cyber
3. Interpersonal relationship of teachers and pupils
One of the biggest challenges of distance learning during the COVID-19 crisis is to
keep learners engaged. The lack of person-to-person contacts, the difficulties of
communication on digital devices, the need to self-organize can become additional challenges
for the learners to absorb new information and keep track of the learning process.
These challenges can affect various aspects of education, including the student-teacher
relationship that is so crucial for student success. Even the best technologies cannot completely
eliminate this distance between teacher and student. In-class education, therefore, remains
necessary, but this must be placed in perspective and adapted to the current situation.
Communication is also affected, some of which include: their lack of motivation and
understanding of the material, the decrease in communication levels between the students and
their instructors, and their increased feeling of isolation caused by online classes. This study
found that online learning indeed has a negative impact on communication and its effectiveness
between instructors and students. (Alawamleh, et al 2020)
4. Methods of Teaching changes.
As the new normal changes everything, it also changes the teaching methods of
teachers. The traditional face-to-face learning was replaced by what we call now blended
learning. This method delivers lessons in various ways, including online, television, radio, and
printed materials. This pose a real problem. Children and youth from low-income and singleparent families; immigrant, refugee, ethnic minority and Indigenous backgrounds; with diverse
gender identities and sexual orientations; and those with special education needs suffer by
being deprived of physical learning opportunities, social and emotional support available in
schools. (Cerna, 2020)
5. Too much reliance on gadgets.
The onset of online learning requires the use of gadgets in school. Students belonging
to rich and middle-income families can easily afford have smart phones, laptops and other
gadgets to be used in online learning. Another dilemma will arise on the part of less privilege.
How can you implement virtual learning if you live in a slum or a refugee camp? How are you
supposed to sign up and install an application if you have no reliable internet access? How can
you ensure quality learning if an option for digital tools is limited? How can students in the
rural communities and far-flung areas are going to cope with the NewNormal? (Padlan, 2020)
Undeniably, everyone is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the impacts are
greater felt in communities where privilege does not extend. Majority of them are being denied
with opportunities to experience quality education and were not well-equipped to have
computers, internet connection, and devices for virtual learning and workspaces. It is evident
that there is a clear exacerbation of existing inequalities between those from privileged and
unprivileged socio-economic class – that constitutes a denial of basic human rights to those in
the poverty line – which is a real threat to the learning continuity. (Padlan, 2020)
What School Leaders Can Do in Order to address this issue?
Whether they are called headmasters, principals, or directors, school leaders play an
important motivating and coordinating role in education systems’ COVID-19 responses. In an
article written by Sameer Sampat, et al, he discussed three recommendations to support school
leaders during the coronavirus pandemic. First is, clearly define the role of school leaders in
crisis response. School leaders have an important perspective on the challenges faced by their
communities, and their voices should be incorporated when defining their role during the crisis.
Globally, our school leaders are most concerned with student well-being, online teaching, and
finances, in that order. The second is, enlist school leaders to lead the process to re-open
schools. When schools eventually re-open, we expect that school leaders will face a high
burden in quickly creating safe and healthy learning spaces for their students. The third is,
develop programs to train and connect school leaders. It is important to provide support to
leaders to face the challenges we want them to lead through. Moving toward context-specific,
online professional development programs is critical support for leaders. (Sampat, et al 2020)
If these suggested supports will be taken into consideration, it will be helped school
administrators to address the issues brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic.
The Covid 19 pandemic brought many changes and challenges, especially in the
education sector. Classroom management has drastically changed, making it more complicated
than ever. Socio-cultural issues and other factors related to classroom management were
changed indefinitely it poses a great problem to educators and school leaders as well.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Philippine education sector not only to
upgrade its capabilities for remote learning, but more importantly, to realize that it could barely
survive without the social, economic, and political problems of the country is resolved. As it
appears, charging head-on into a crisis with these problems as baggage would require Filipino
students to take charge of their education, since their respective families and teachers can only
do so much to help them. However, there is no need to leave these students alone to fend for
themselves. Rather, an opportunity presents itself: to gather students together into small
communities – communities of learning and inquiry – with the help of technology. In the end,
it will be noteworthy for future researchers to look into how the community of inquiry and
learning framework can best help students from the Philippines as well as students from other
developing and poor countries to achieve quality education through technology-assisted
As the Philippines ventures into a new mode of learning, several factors need to be
considered. This includes teacher capacity, situation and context of the learner, and efficiency
of the learning environment. These are, of course, on top of the more obvious issues of internet
speed, cost of materials, and mode of delivery. The best way to move forward is to take a step
back and design a strategy that engages teachers, students, parents, school administrators, and
technology-based companies. This collaborative response based on a collective vision is the
kind of creative solution this novel problem warrants. (Joaquin, et al 2020)
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated social inequalities, inequity, and exclusion,
while paradoxically presenting an opportunity to strengthen social relations, guided by
solidarity and collaboration in pursuit of the common good, and also by responsibility for the
care of others, as an essential dimension of one’s own care and survival. The current crisis has
given new meaning to social ties, which in turn serve as a basis to rebuild identities and the
meaning of citizenship —including in a global dimension— around a practical idea of creating
the common good in the short term. This is possible through large and small collective actions
on a daily basis, which, without ignoring the dominant conflicts dividing societies, recognize
and encourage cohesion as a critical element of building a common future.
Damen, L. (1987). Culture learning: the fifth dimension in the language classroom. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Teaching Multicultural Students (2021). https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/educationteaching-degree/multicultural-students/
Deschel, S. (2020). Understanding Cultural Differences and Classroom Management/
Gabriel, E. et al (2011). Culturally Relevant Approaches to Classroom Management/ The
Journal of Adventist Education Vol. 73 No. 3 pp. 38/
Reilly, J. (2021) New Theories in Classroom Management in the Age of Distance Learning/
Jones, C. (2020) How school discipline — and student misbehavior — has changed during
the pandemic/ https://edsource.org/2020/how-school-discipline-and-student-misbehavior-haschanged-during-the-pandemic/643758
Alawamleh, M. et.al (2020) The Effect of Online Learning on Communication between
Instructors and Students during Covid 19 Pandemic/ https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/remotehub/docs/effect-online-learning-on-communication-instructor-student.pdf
Padlan, N. (2020) Bridging Digital Divide in the Time of Covid 19 Pandemic/
Sampat, S. et al (2020) 3 recommendations to support school leaders during the coronavirus
pandemic/ https://www.globalpartnership.org/blog/3-recommendations-support-schoolleaders-during-coronavirus-pandemic
Joaquin, J. et al (2020) The Philippine Higher Education Sector in the Time of COVID-19/
Cerna, L. (2020) The impact of COVID-19 on student equity and inclusion: Supporting
vulnerable students during school closures and school re-openings/